Sunday, June 28, 2009
A Pronunciation Tip for the Cooks
I'm watching a cooking show on Food Network right now and I've just heard one of my pet peeves being tossed around. People, please stop pronouncing the "Vidalia" in the name of the sweet onions with a short "a" in the middle. I grew up in that area; in fact my childhood home is on the border of the multi-county region where Vidalia onions can be grown and labeled as Vidalias. Locals pronounce the town as either "vie-DALE-yuh" or "vie-DAY-yuh." Actually, if you're familiar with the regional dialect, we tend to put an extra stress on the first syllable. For this word, it's a secondary stress on the first syllable and the true stress is on the second, but please do not refer to these as "vih-DALL-yuh" onions. It sounds silly. Plus, it doesn't even make phonetic sense. If you're going to pronounce them that way, you'd have to spell it "Vidallia". I'm okay with people who aren't going to go the full distance and try to get in the extra stress on the first syllable, but please use the long "a" sound in the second syllable. South Georgia is most definitely not some hoity-toity European Protected Designation of Origin zone and its eponymous agricultural products shouldn't sound that way. This is a completely American and completely unpretentious area. Please allow these onions to retain some ring of their homeland's speech when they're being consumed far from home.